Look what’s growing in our Nursery garden!
This week we have planted out the last of our bean and pea plants. They have grown really well indoors so we hope that they will now grow strong and healthy in our vegetable patch. Out Nursery children have been learning about how to plant out our seedlings and to carefully water them at ground level. We are hoping for some sunshine now so that we get a bumper crop of peas, beans and strawberries.
Forest School Art
Some of the children decided to make pictures in Forest School today. They used the Forest floor as their canvas and found so many different natural materials from the forest. They also used lots of maths skills – making shapes, repeating patterns, and measuring sticks to ensure that sides of shapes, legs and feet were the same length or size. What fantastic artists you were today.
There are giants in the sky!
Our Story of the Week has been Jack and the Beanstalk.
We were surprised to hear that lots of our children have never heard this story! We have had so much fun finding out what Jack discovered at the top of the beanstalk and stomping around like giants, using our fierce ‘giant’ voices to recite the repeating verses from the story. The children are becoming great storytellers, understanding about characters, using different voices when acting out the story and remembering the sequence of events. They have been learning the songs from Out of The Ark’s musical version of the story and have listened with great enjoyment, anticipation and concentration to the narrated story on the CD without needing the help of any pictures. The words to the songs have helped them to learn some great vocabulary to use in their re-telling.
The children have been busy planting their own beans, ordering numbers on a beanstalk to help Jack to know where to climb next, making story-maps, counting the Giant’s golden coins and painting giants on “giant-sized” pieces of paper! They also practised their scissor skills to cut beanstalks and leaves to make a fabulous beanstalk in Nursery.
On Thursday we found that the Giant had been up to mischievous tricks in Nursery! When we visited NumberLand, we discovered a note telling us that he had captured Number 6 and locked him in a cage, demanding a ransom! We had to use our fantastic counting skills to count out jewels for the ransom and write numbers on leaves to build a beanstalk so that we could rescue poor Number 6. What a great job you did, Nursery children. Number 6 is safely back in NumberLand!
Next week is Well-being Week so we will be leaving Jack and the Giant for a few days. Don’t forget to check in next week to find out about what we did.
We were so excited to go back to Forest School!
The sunny Spring weather has really added to the children’s enjoyment and excitement of going back to Forest School. Sessions have re-started this week, just in time for us to see our Forest coming back to life after the long winter. We found new leaves, all bright green and fresh, cheeky blackbirds who came to share our snack and a beautiful carpet of golden dandelions. The children enjoyed re-discovering their favourite Forest places, climbing and sliding down the muddy hill and, in quieter moments, finding Forest treasures to make pictures.
In Nursery garden our mini-beast hotel has also been awakening. We found slugs, worms, woodlice, spiders and ladybirds all creeping out from their hiding places but, most exciting of all, we discovered so many frogs in our Forest School area next to our pond.
We now have some tadpoles in Nursery and we are watching them day by day to see if they will change into frogs. They are very wriggly! We have been finding out what to look for and how to look after them. We can’t believe that they will transform into frogs!
Spring Term has flown by and we ended it with the last of our Spring celebrations – an Easter breakfast with ‘dippy’ eggs, hot cross buns and tables decorated with beautiful daffodils. The children really enjoyed helping to set the tables, making sure there were enough chairs, spoons, napkins and plates for everyone. There is such a growing, tangible sense of friendship and camaraderie in Nursery which has developed over the last two terms. It was lovely to sit, chat and enjoy our breakfast together. A big thank you to all of our children and staff for making our Nursery such a special place to be!
Easter Arts and Design
We have spent part of the week focusing on Expressive Arts and Design and bringing together lots of the skills we have been learning. The children have done some fantastic drawings of Peter Rabbit for their Easter card; used their cutting skills and what they know and understand about combining media to make rabbit cups to fill with some sweet Easter treats; and used some fantastic observation and representational skills to paint pictures of the daffodils which have decorated our tables this week.
Reading and stories
We have read some super Easter-themed stories over the past few days but, by far, the children’s favourite was “Here Comes The Easter Cat” by Deborah Underwood. They really enjoyed the gentle humour in this book about a cat who wants to be the Easter Bunny. It generated so much talk about feelings and they had lots of fun copying the facial expressions in the beautiful illustrations to show they were grumpy, surprised, thoughtful, shocked, happy and so much more. It is so important for children understand their own feelings and those of others and to have the vocabulary to talk about them. At home, you could try playing a “Guess How I Am Feeling” game, encouraging your child to make different facial expressions to show an emotion or feeling.
Spring arrived . . . and then left again!
On Monday, Spring arrived in the form of a beautiful, dry, sunny morning and we were able to open up the whole of our Outdoor area, using our climbing area for the first time since Autumn Term. What a lot of busy bodies we had out there climbing, swinging, balancing, sliding and using their muscles! One Nursery boy was so happy he sang “The sun has got his hat on” at the top of his voice!
A surprise visitor
On Wednesday afternoon the whole of EYFS joined in the PTA Easter Eggstravaganza. There were crafts, refreshments, a disco and a special(and very eggsciting!) Easter guest who brought us even more chocolate treats!
We wish all of our children and families a great Easter break.
We return to school on Monday, 16th April, 2018.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
The children have been so interested in this old but much-loved story which has been brought to life for them by watching the animated story version and also coincided with the release of the new movie.
Their responses have been amazing and they have been inspired to ‘write’ their own stories, labels and captions, draw story maps, make character puppets, and build Mr McGregor’s garden in the Block Area. We have also had healthy snacks of pitta pockets and wraps filled with lettuce and carrots (Peter Rabbit’s favourite treats!) and our bakers have baked “Bunny Biscuits” with a secret ingredient – carrots! They were delicious.
In some of our number activities this week the children enjoyed using ten frames to represent different quantities. This helps them to develop a sense of number by seeing the same quantity arranged in different ways.
Other children enjoyed counting buttons for Peter Rabbit’s coat, matching the quantity shown on one or two dice. We practised counting out objects from a larger group, combining two quantities to find a total and recognising the dot patterns on dice without counting the dots!
We had footballers, a rugby player, and a ballerina as we all dressed up for Sports Relief on Friday. One of the children told us he had come as a “sporter” – a term which caught on and had lots of the children telling us “I’m a sporter!”
Some of our ‘sporters’ took advantage of the goals which had been set up on the main school playground and had a penalty shoot-out. We obviously have some budding future footballers for our school squad! One of the children showed us how she did her exercises at home – jogging on the spot, star jumps and press-ups and we finished our nursery sports relief morning with a yoga session. What a fun day!
We have loved this classic story and have had a fantastic week re-telling Rosie’s adventures as she walked around the farmyard followed by the sneaky fox!
The children sequenced the pictures from the story and used so much positional language and vocabulary from the book to tell their own stories about Rosie’s Walk!
The children were very interested in the windmill in the story and so we watched some film clips and found out how a windmill works to grind wheat into flour. We had a fun morning baking our own bread and eating it! Our Nursery was filled with the lovely smell of freshly baked bread!
Some of the boys worked so hard to build a windmill from the blocks, adding sails and sacks of flour suspended on ‘ropes’.
In our Maths activities this week we have continued our journey through NumberLand on our way to Number 10. We had to help Number 6 to do his shopping at the Fruit Shop. We each had a shopping list, reading the numbers and counting the correct quantities of each type of fruit into our pots. Great numeral recognition and accurate counting, Nursery boys and girls!
We have also been on a shape hunt around our school taking our Shape Viewers to help us spot all the shapes in the objects around us. Some children were very disappointed that they didn’t find any “pentagons”! We will keep looking!
Next week we will be reading the story of Peter Rabbit in preparation for a visit from the Easter Bunny before the end of term!
What a fantastic procession of story-book characters we have had through Nursery this week as we celebrated World Book Day.
Lots of parents joined us and we read so many stories and acted some out including Room on a Broom, Stick Man and our absolute favourite of the moment Dear Zoo! The children can now re-tell this using all of the language from the story.
Talking of Dear Zoo . . .yet another package arrived on Friday. It was the one the children have been waiting for . . . the puppy. He had lots of cuddles, hugs and tickles on his ear and his tummy and the children have decided that he is so perfect we will just have to keep him! I’m sure that after all our learning about taking care of animals, he will be very well looked after.
In our Maths this week we have been using Numicon to find different ways of making a number. The children are now beginning to apply their understanding of number to work independently to solve a problem – how many ways can you make 6? How many ways can you make 9?
Next week our story of the week will be Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins. We will be reviewing our understanding of prepositions and practising using them in a range of contexts. You can help your child at home by reinforcing and helping them to understand key words which describe the position of things such as in, on, next to, under, on top, and more advanced vocabulary such as beside, beneath, between, around and across. The children will also continue using story language, story maps and drama to re-tell stories.
In Maths activities we will be learning more about shapes and patterns
We wrote to the Zoo to send us a pet. They did! Two big parcels arrived in Nursery this week! Look what happened . . .
Our first parcel, which arrived on Monday, contained a giraffe but we decided to send him back because he was ‘too tall’. The second parcel arrived on Thursday! Out of it jumped a very cheeky monkey. He jumped all over Nursery, sat on our SmartPanel, swung from the beam and chased the children. They were squealing with excitement but he was so ‘naughty’ that they decided to send him back! We have never seen children so excited to write. Every single child has written their own letter to the Zoo to explain why we were sending the animals back and to ask for a ‘proper’ pet!
We are hoping to receive some more parcels when we return from our half-term break.
The children are now able to re-tell the story from beginning to end using the vocabulary from the book and the pictures as prompts. Some of them can read and write ‘Zoo’ and one child recognised the word ‘Fragile’ which was on one of the labels on our parcels and which is in the book. This just goes to show the power of reading to your child as much as possible, talking about the pictures, words and letters and encouraging them to re-tell the story themselves. Don’t forget to keep up that “Take 10” reading challenge every day over the half-term holiday and don’t forget to join us for our next Story Share on Friday, 2nd March.
Nursery have had a busy week of celebrations!
The past week has provided us with an excellent opportunity to learn more about the different celebrations and traditions in our annual calendar.
On Tuesday we celebrated Pancake Day.
As we always love to ground our themes in Literacy, we started the day by reading the story of Mr Wolf’s Pancakes by Jan Fearnley. The children loved the unfortunate twist at the end of the story when Mr Wolf snapped up not only all of his pancakes but his greedy friends too! They also enjoyed hearing that Mr Wolf was learning to read and write and were very kind in helping him to write shopping lists for his pancake ingredients. We then made our own pancakes for our pancake party, selecting our favourite topping and also having a go at tossing them! In the afternoon, we did some ‘pancake’ maths, counting the correct number of decorations onto our pancakes. We also practised orally blending sounds in words to select different toppings for a ‘pretend’ pancake party!
On Wednesday we found out all about the traditions of Valentine’s Day.
We read the story “The Day It Rained Hearts” by Felicia Bond. We talked about the people we love and care about, thought about our feelings and described them and had a very ‘crafty’ day practising lots of different skills to make gifts for family and friends. We wrote ‘love’ letters and made cards using our drawing and writing skills, learned about sewing, using some skilful fine motor control to sew a necklace of hearts with real needles and thread, and used some careful thinking when using glue and collage materials to make heart decorations. We practised counting and number recognition with some beautiful heart jewels, took our friends for a Valentine’s meal in our Role Play café and had heart- shaped toast for Snack Time, choosing and spreading our own toppings.
On Friday we celebrated Chinese New Year with one of our pupils who brought us all a very generous and traditional gift of lucky money envelopes with chocolate coins inside.
We learned about the traditions of Chinese New Year, watching lots of very informative video clips. One of our pupils taught us how to say “Happy New Year” and ‘Hello’ in Chinese and also very patiently tried to teach us how to use chopsticks. We did some New Year crafts to celebrate the Year of the Dog so that we could take them home and tell our families about what we head learned. We used fantastic listening skills to follow instructions and used lots of shape, size and positional vocabulary as we folded a square piece of paper into triangles to make a paper dog. The children concentrated very hard to fold their paper so precisely. We practised our scissor skills to make lanterns, folding the paper into a ‘rectangle’ and then gluing it into a ‘cylinder’ shape and we also had a try at writing our numbers in Chinese symbols. We thought they were much easier to write than our English numerals! We also made paper chain dragons with repeating patterns of colour.
We had such a busy week but we learned so much! We are now ready for a short break over half-term. When we return we will be resuming our “Dear Zoo” theme and looking forward to celebrating World Book Day. Hope you are getting your costumes ready, Nursery boys and girls!
What an exciting week for Nursery. We went to Theatre Severn to watch the live production of Dear Zoo! The children knew the story so well and loved joining in with all the audience participation. It was our first Nursery trip without parents and we were so proud of the children’s behaviour. They were an absolute credit to themselves, their parents and our school.
We have been learning about domestic and wild animals, discussing what animals might make good pets and how we would need to look after them. We decided to write to the Zoo ourselves to see if they would send us a pet! There were so many letters. We put them in envelopes and took them to the letter box to post. We do hope that the Zoo replies!
In our Maths activities this week we have been practising our subitising skills – being able to recognise instantaneously the number of objects in a small group without the need to count them. The children are developing such good number sense that they are becoming ‘experts’ in doing this! They enjoyed talking about and recreating the quantities and groupings that they saw.
Next week will be a busy end to this first half of the Spring Term. We will be hoping for some ‘deliveries’ from the Zoo and also learning about traditions and celebrations as we celebrate Pancake Day, Valentine’s Day and join in with some of our pupils as they celebrate Chinese New Year. Don’t forget to have a look at next week’s blog to find out what we have been getting up to!